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Friday, April 18, 2014

Saints Sweep Manhattan, Take Over First

Big day for J-J
Siena 8
Manhattan 2

Siena 6
Manhattan 5


The Siena Saints swept the Manhattan Lady Jaspers Friday in Loudonville, NY, and took possession of first place in the MAAC.

Siena jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in game one of this MAAC doubleheader, with first inning RBIs from Chelsey Drew, who drove home a pair of runs with a single, and Meg Volz. An unearned run gave the Saints a 4-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Manhattan scored two unearned runs themselves to close the gap in the top of the third, with Stephanie Reinhardt getting credit for an RBI. Siena would keep scoring though, adding a run in the bottom of the third thanks to Paige Lloyd's RBI double, then scoring once more in the bottom of the fourth inning via Meg Volz's RBI single. Chelsey Drew singled home two more n the fifth, giving her four RBIs for the game, and Siena cruised to an 8-2 win. Jessika-Jo Sandrini, who has become one the top pitchers in the conference this season, picked up the win while allowing no earned runs. Jessika-Jo, Chelsey Drew, Meg Volz and Stephanie Viggiano each had two hits for the Saints. Katie Bowen took the loss for Manhattan.

Game two started off much better for the Lady Jaspers, as they held a 4-2 lead after three innings of play. Two RBIs by Katie Bowen, one by Emily Cutler and an unearned run highlighted a four run second inning by Manhattan. Siena kept it close with RBIs by Chelsey Drew and Paige Lloyd. The Lady Jaspers increased their lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth inning when Jenn Vazquez singled home a run, but from that point Siena would mount a comeback. The Saints went to work in the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs, loading the bases when Paige Lloyd doubled, Mel Kalesse walked and Stephanie Viggiano singled. Up to the plate stepped Siena's All-MAACer Jessika-Jo Sandrini who singled to cut the Manhattan lead to 5-4. In the meantime, the Saints were getting solid relief pitching from Toni Edwards and Danielle Cacciola to keep the game close. After another Paige Lloyd single in the bottom of the sixth inning, it was once again Jessika-Jo who delivered the big hit, another single that scored Paige to tie up the game. Siena went on to win in the bottom of the seventh inning when pinch runner Bridget Connors scored on a wild pitch. It was an unfortunate way for Manhattan to lose, but at 5-5 they are still solidly in contention.

Siena now stands at 7-1, and their second game comeback is something that champions do; they just find a way to win. Even more impressive about the sweep was that the Saints did it without the services of All-MAAC designated player Alyssa Lancaster, who apparently had taken ill. She did try to play, but could only go an inning. The Saints will play Saturday at Canisius; Manhattan will be at Rider.

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